Half-Eaten Great White Shark Washes Up On Australian Beach, Killer Whale Attack Suspected

The fish, which was approximately 3m in length, washed up on the shore in Portland, Victoria on October 17 with the middle section of its body completely ripped apart.

Half-Eaten Great White Shark Washes Up On Australian Beach, Killer Whale Attack Suspected

Samples from the shark's carcass have been sent to government agencies and academics.

Beachgoers in the small coastal town of Portland in Australia were left horrified after they spotted the carcass of a great white shark that appeared half-eaten. As per Sky News, the fish, which was approximately 3m in length, washed up on the shore in Portland, Victoria on October 17 with the middle section of its body completely ripped apart. Experts have suggested that the shark might have fallen prey to a killer whale attack. Notably, a pod of orcas had been spotted circling in the bay two days prior to the discovery of the carcass.

''This is equal parts cool and terrifying, this 3 meter white shark, washed up on the beach at Bridgewater, after being attacked by killer whales,'' Portland Bait and Tackle in Victoria, Australia, posted photos of the carcass to their Facebook page. 

See the photos here:

Great white sharks and killer whales are both apex predators, meaning they sit at the top of their respective food chains, according to the National History Museum. However, they can ''come into conflict when they cross paths'' and compete for similar prey.

''In these instances, the marine predators will attack each other, and there have been multiple observations of unusual behaviours used by killer whales to attack great whites,'' the museum's website states.

Flinders University trophic ecologist Lauren Meyer said while it was not "100 percent clear", it was likely a killer whale had attacked the shark to "slurp out" its liver.

"We're not actually sure why killer whales are such picky eaters. We see this with things like humpback whales, where [killer whales] come in and actually eat the tongue and leave the rest of the whale. We certainly see that they prefer the liver of white sharks, mako sharks, bronze whalers and sevengills, and even tiger sharks. We also see they like to eat the intestines of sunfish, which is really strange, and dugong intestines,'' Dr Meyer told ABC News.

Samples from the shark's carcass have been sent to government agencies and academics. Dr Meyer said researchers would continue to investigate the Portland incident, looking into rake marks and leftover genetics including saliva.

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